Cooking in A Stainless Steel Pan/pot on An Electric Burner, Is There Any Way to Make This Combination Work?
Stainless steel cookware is most common in every kitchen. Because of health issues with coated cookware stainless steel cookware is widely used. Apart from this stainless steel cookware are corrosion resistive, highly durable, provides easy to clean, and has a non-reactive surface.
All these good sites make a stainless steel pan or pot, used for any type of cooking. There are different grades of stainless steel pan or pot available in the market and all have different material combinations and even the cost varies.
Almost all types of stainless steel pan or pot available in the market can be used in gas stoves, induction or electric stove.
Although induction base stainless steel cookware is modified to have a magnetic layer inside for use in an electric stove, no additional modification is not done in the pan or pot. So, some considerations have to be done from the chef’s end to make perfect cooking.
Effect of chromium content:
Stainless steel cookware available in the market is mostly blended. Mainly all the stainless steel has chromium content in it. Based on chromium content thermal conductivity varies and so varies the cooking ability.
As chromium has high thermal conductivity, the pan/ pot with high chromium content will get heated faster than that of a low chromium one. But food may get burnt easily and stick to the pan/ pot surface.
So, chromium content is always a factor considered in stainless steel for cooking. When using a high chromium content stainless steel cookware in an electric stove, it must be considered that high heat can deteriorate the food and stick it to the surface if the moisture content in the food is less.
Effect of magnetic layer:
Apart from chromium content, stainless steel cookware is nowadays available in 3 or 2 layers as well. 2 layers one has a layer of aluminum or copper in the base and the top layer is stainless steel.
This type of stainless steel pot/ pan is not good for an induction base but is comparatively a better option for an electric stove.
The 3 layered ones have a magnetic middle layer apart from the bottom and top layer. This is done mainly for using with induction stove because induction stove requires magnetic material for heating, the magnetic layer in 3-layer stainless steel makes it more friendly for induction.
But 3 layer stainless steel is a bad choice for using with an electric stove because the magnetic layer acts as a resistance to heat and does not allow the pot/ pan to heat easily.
It takes more time to heat the stainless steel pan/ pot, even after heating somehow it becomes very difficult to control the temperature as the food gets stuck to the bottom of the pan/ pot easily.
Even if you want to control the temperature by reducing heat from an electric stove, the pan does not cool down easily and therefore food keeps on burning until removed from the pan/ pot.
Effect of shape:
It may sound a bit odd how shape can affect the cooking of food. But this is real physics that comes into play here. So as much as the surface area is in contact with the heating element the pan gets heated so it is always better to choose flat-shaped higher surface areas pan/pot for cooking an electric stove.
Electric stove with stainless steel generally takes more time to heat the pan and it takes more time to cool down as well. If the surface area is higher, the pan/ pot will heat easily and will be able to maintain the temperature as well.
sometimes while cooking if the pan gets overheated the pan/ pot might have to be removed from the stove surface for some time and brought back to deal with the heating effect of the electric stove.
Seasoning of pan/ pot:
Because of the disbalance in heat, foods will tend to stick while cooking and sometimes may get burnt as well. This statement is true even for stainless steel as well. So to come out of this problem we have to do seasoning of the stainless steel pan/ pot and do some pan caring exercises.
- Keep the pan soaked in water for a longer time if there is some scorch sticking to the base after cooking. It does not mean overnight, keep it only for 20-60 mins maximum.
- Do not keep the foods in a pan after cooking because of the presence of acid in the food, at times food may start reacting with stainless steel even.
- Use vinegar and water to clean the deposited stains that will keep up the shine and properties of the stainless steel pan.
- Do not through the pan direct to water after cooking this may cause quenching action in the pan thereby changing its material properties. Allow the pan to cool down naturally for some time and then clean it with soap and water.
- Spread oil on the whole surface of the pan and then heat it to a high temperature until fumes are seen. This technique is used for seasoning purposes
Stainless steel is a kind of material that needs proper care if used for cooking. So seasoning and taking proper care is very important.
Although it has a lot of good and bad sites to be considered, when cooked in an electric oven but with some points to be considered while cooking the struggle can be overcome.
There are a lot of restaurants using electric stoves with stainless steel for cooking. Just taking care of flat shape, non-induction cookware, and low chromium content stainless steel, the problems can be sorted to some extent. But stainless steel is real good cookware to be used.
Considering the non-stick coated cookware, it has no or very limited health issues as well because of low reactivity.
So, cook food in medium heat while using the electric oven for the stainless steel pan/ pot and allow yourself some time to understand the pan/pot how heats with an electric oven, you can surely be in a better position to cook food in stainless steel pan in an electric stove.